Daniel J. Shevock teaches at Penn State Altoona (USA), where he previously served as Emerging Musical Artist in Residence in Jazz. He taught instrumental and general music in the Pittsburgh Public School for eleven years before earning his Ph.D. at the Pennsylvania State University. Dan has written articles in peer-reviewed journals, and a book, Eco-Literate Music Pedagogy: A Philosophy/Autoethnography of Music Education on Soil (in press, Routledge). His scholarship blends ecological literacy, place-consciousness, improvisation, spirituality, history, and philosophy.
Deinstitutionalizing Music Education and Cultivating a Philosophy on Soil
Music education seems to reinforce institutionalized relationships among human and non-human beings. Why should music education aim to (re)construct institutions before institutions have been fully deconstructed? Music education institutions result in a plethora of negative consequences. They are slow to change, unfair, racist, patriarchal, exclusionary, placeless, and uproot people from culture and soil. Listening to soil communities—webs of interconnected, interdependent lives—unearths the possibility for music education deinstitutionalization. In soil, diverse agents act, and when one agent thrives at the expense of others, soil fertility fails. A philosophy on soil challenges institutions and individuals, sacred cows of industrial society.